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July 2021

    A Note from Chris

    As we begin to see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, we cannot help but get excited about the months ahead. We have started scheduling face-to-face meetings and in-person events and if you haven’t heard – we are bringing back Credit Union Day at the Ballpark! More details about this sensational credit union fundraising event are included later in this newsletter. We hope you can join us!

    On July 4 we will celebrate Independence Day, a day that provides an opportunity for us to reflect on the true meaning of our citizenship. To be American is about so much more than simply a place we call home. It is about a deeply felt commitment to the higher principles of liberty, equality, opportunity, and self-governance. As much as we enjoy the traditions of picnics, parades, and fireworks, Independence Day reminds us to be grateful for the blessings that our freedom represents and for the opportunities that it provides. We are humbled in remembrance of the courageous men and women who have served and sacrificed to preserve and protect our liberties. May you and your family enjoy an Independence Day filled with thankfulness and gratitude for living in this great nation of opportunity, promise, and hope.

    Sincerely,

    Chris Felton's signature

    Chris Felton
    President/CEO

    What’s Trending?

    What the traditional financial services industry can learn from neobanks and fintechs.

    The pandemic has exposed gaps and accelerated transformation in virtually every industry, and banking is no exception. Faced with spiking demand and the need to go digital fast, most traditional financial services providers saw customer experience as a lower priority over the past year. This was not lost on customers. According to recent Salesforce research, “Trends in Financial Services,” only 27 percent of customers believe the financial services industry is customer-centric, and just 23 percent think the industry handled the pandemic well. Meanwhile, nearly 70 percent of customers say COVID-19 has raised their expectations of companies’ digital capabilities.

    Read the Article

    Technology Solutions

    How is password hygiene at your credit union?

    Password Management as a Service combines Keeper with management by Emergifi delivering secure business passwords to prevent data breaches, improve employee productivity, and meet compliance standards.

    Benefits of password management include:

    • Rapid deployment, user provisioning, and role-based access controls with Microsoft AD/Open LDAP
    • Seamless integration to your SSO IdP to fill the security gaps often found in SSO
    • Enable visibility into your organization’s password security
    • Meet your compliance and auditing needs in a way spreadsheets never can

    Contact Emergifi for a demonstration.

    Employee Benefit Resources

    How can credit unions form their own insurance company?

    Simply put, an insurance captive is a group of employers forming their own insurance company to fund their employees’ higher-cost medical claims. Captives are a proven collaborative model for like-minded employers to lower their operational costs by purchasing insurance in a more efficient manner. Plus, these collaborative funding models provide enhanced claims data to help us better understand what’s driving our medical insurance expenses so we can implement strategies to help the employees that need it the most.

    Take a few minutes to read this recently released white paper by InterLutions explaining how a group of innovative credit unions formed an Insurance Captive to lower their healthcare costs and reduce their claims risk.

    Financial Services Consulting

    Stay focused on your benchmark.

    June was greeted with another disappointing employment data release as non-farm payrolls rose 120 thousand below expectations. Followed by weak factory and durable goods orders, bond prices pushed higher bringing the ten year’s yield back to the bottom of its three-month range at 1.55. Despite inflation data reported well above forecasts, analysts echoed previous Fed comments classifying the spikes as temporary. Nerves were calmed and prices pushed through resistance seeing the ten-year dip below a 1.45% yield.

    Mid-month comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Powell generated quite a reaction when he announced the Fed ‘s “Dot Plot” had been updated to reflect two tightenings in 2023. However, it was his statement that the Fed was “talking about, talking about” tapering their quantitative easing program that sent traders scrambling. The ten-year quickly reversed course giving up all its hard-fought gains and plowed right back through support closing back into the 1.55% to 1.65% range it had resided in for the past three months. After a day to think about it, buyers returned and again pushed prices higher and yields back below 1.50%. Certainly, some volatile sessions but at the time of this writing some positive signs of underlying strength surfacing.

    The mortgage market provided some equally interesting sessions, especially those on the heels of the Fed’s talk of tapering QE purchases. As the largest buyer of mortgages inside the QE program, an end to Fed purchases will certainly have a significant impact on the supply and demand dynamics. Mortgage prices fell hand in hand with Treasuries when the news first hit the wires. However, when Treasuries rebounded, mortgages did not participate. It seemed logical that concern about tapering would impact mortgages more and create wider spreads to Treasuries. This, however, did not last long as spreads adjusted back to pre-announcement levels in the next 24 hours. The activity has reinforced our views that mortgages are trading at expensive levels relative to their negative convexity. The price action does give us hope that we will see spreads widen when we do get closer to a Fed tapering of mortgage purchases allowing value to rise and perhaps establishing themselves as a viable option for credit union portfolios again.

    It seems like we end up in the same spot each month. Short term volatility, shifting spreads. Where are rates heading? We saw some signs of strength, but that constant chatter from Wall Street that inflation is nothing to be concerned about does not sit well. If you were to pick the one thing out there that should have the biggest impact on what happens to rates it is inflation. The supply chain breakdowns that generate short term bursts of inflation are unlikely to drive rates long term. How temporary are some of these increases and what is going to happen if wage inflation becomes an issue with the fight to add workers and the $15 per hour minimum wage picking up momentum? To bring back memories of a favorite TV show as a child, tune in next time at the same bat time, the same bat channel. In the meantime, stay focused on your benchmark and manage the balance sheet to navigate each of the possible outcomes ahead.

    Did You Know?

    Credit Union Day at the Ballpark is back!

    Corporate Central and The League will be hosting Credit Union Day at the Ballpark on Sunday, August 8 as the Milwaukee Brewers take on the San Francisco Giants at American Family Field. Come celebrate The Credit Union Movement, network with your peers, and help us raise funds for some outstanding organizations! This fundraising event will benefit The National Credit Union Foundation and The Wisconsin Credit Union Foundation. This event is open to all credit union employees, members, families, and friends. Registration deadline is July 7 and tickets are limited, so save your spot today!

    Save Your Spot

    Credit Unions Connect

    Stories that exemplify the movement

    Tomah Area Credit Union holds raffle to support community.

    Tomah Area Credit Union with a check for Families First of Monroe County

    Tomah Area Credit Union hosted a raffle drawing to benefit Families First of Monroe County. Families First “supports and assists residents through their financial and life challenges with respectful and empowering services.” Through the generosity of their members, the credit union was able to make a donation of over $3,400 to the organization.

    Arcadia Credit Union donates toward new ambulance.

    Arcadia Credit Union with a check for Arcadia Ambulance Service

    Arcadia Credit Union donated $5,000 to the Arcadia Ambulance Service. The funds will be used for the purchase of a new ambulance. Arcadia Ambulance Service is community owned and provides emergency services for eight municipalities in western Wisconsin.

    Read More Credit Union Stories

    Our Community

    Fourth annual Addie’s Angels on Earth donation drive exceeds goal of $5,000 in donations.

    Addie's Angels on Earth logo

    Shannon Cate, Member Services Specialist, and her husband Kevin started Addie’s Angels on Earth in 2018 to celebrate and remember their daughter, Addison Marie, who was stillborn on June 3, 2016. The charity organization holds a donation drive every June to collect items and funds towards the creation of infant loss boxes at a local Milwaukee area hospital. These boxes are provided to all parents that are leaving the hospital with their babies in their hearts instead of their arms. This year, the donation drive exceeded the goal by far and brought in more than $7,000 in funds and materials!

    We cannot stop the heartache of losing a baby for another family; but we can try to ease their pain and suffering. To those of you that are on this journey with us – we see you, we appreciate you, and know you are not alone!” ~ Kevin and Shannon Cate

    Learn More About Our Community

    What’s New and Who’s Who

    Corporate Central welcomes Michele Randall as Member Services Representative.

    Michele Randall

    We are happy to announce, and welcome, Michele Randall as our newest Member Services Representative. Michele is responsible for providing superior member service and assisting members with questions related to products and services. Additionally, she serves as a liaison between members and staff to facilitate proactive relationship development. Michele graduated from Stratton College with an associate degree in Information Processing, and she later studied at Alverno College. She has worked in the credit union industry for over 25 years holding Head Teller, Vice President of Operations, and Accountant positions. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and doing puzzles. She also enjoys serving at her church as a new member teacher, marriage ministry leader, and on the finance committee. Welcome, Michele!

    Mark Volz, CUDE takes on new role as Relationship Development Manager.

    Mark Volz

    Congratulations to Mark Volz, CUDE for his recent promotion to Relationship Development Manager! Mark will continue to proactively assess the financial climate and needs of member and future member credit unions and will recommend Corporate Central financial products/services accordingly. In this new position, he will also be taking on the role of credit union development and education officer. In this capacity, he will help all employees gain greater insight into the history of the credit union movement and Corporate Central’s role within the movement. Mark began his career at Corporate Central in April 2018 as a Relationship Development Officer. He is heavily involved in advancing the credit union movement by serving as current President of the Cream City Chapter of Credit Unions and former Advisory Committee Member of the Wisconsin Credit Union League’s Young Professional group. In November 2018, he became a CUDE through the National Credit Union Foundation. He is currently in year two of Filene's i3 innovation program, and he is also part of the CUES Emerge program.

    Learn More About Our Team

Upcoming Events

Data Driven Strategies to Retain and Grow Member Relationships

12/7/2021 2:00 PM - 12/7/2021 2:45 PM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

Join our partners at SRM for this 45-minute webinar where we will answer this question with tangible, actionable data.

Monthly Market Monitor

12/8/2021 3:30 PM - 12/8/2021 4:00 PM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

The Monthly Market Monitor is a webinar geared toward credit union investment managers held on the second Wednesday of every month at 3:30 p.m. CT. It will provide up-to-date economic highlights, yield curve analysis, investment product recommendations, and outlook.

Are you smarter than an economist?

12/15/2021 2:00 PM - 12/15/2021 2:30 PM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

Join QuantyPhi for this 30-minute webinar to see how well you can predict major market indicators. If you are the predicting champion, you will claim the title and a prize.

Our Family of CUSOs

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